Trump seeks to raise funds on news of FBI raid on his Florida home
PALM BEACH, Florida –
Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday tried to spin news of an FBI raid on his Florida estate to his advantage, citing the investigation in text messages and emails soliciting political donations from his supporters.
The unprecedented search of a former president’s home marked a significant escalation in the federal investigation into whether Trump unlawfully removed White House records as he left office in January 2021. Trump continues to flirt publicly with running for president again in 2024 but has not made it clear whether he will.
Trump has tried to portray the search of his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach as a politically motivated move by US President Joe Biden’s administration, even as the former president plays a key role in the Republican primaries ahead of the elections. November midterm elections that will determine control. of the US Congress.
“As they watch my endorsed candidates achieve big wins and see my dominance in every poll, they are once again trying to stop the Republican Party and me,” Trump said in a fundraising email. tuesday. « Anarchy, political persecution and witch hunts must be exposed and stopped. »
Trump launched his Save America political action committee days after losing the 2020 election to Biden. He has over $100 million in the bank, a formidable war chest.
Trump announced the raid of his club in a statement on Monday, saying a « large group of FBI agents » carried it out. FBI headquarters in Washington and its field office in Miami both declined to comment.
Eric Trump, one of Trump’s adult children, told Fox News on Monday that the search involved boxes of documents his father had brought from the White House. A source familiar with the matter confirmed to Reuters that the raid appeared to be linked to Trump’s removal of classified White House documents.
The probe is one of many that have focused on Trump since he left office, weeks after his supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in a failed attempt to undo his electoral defeat. Trump continues to falsely claim the election was stolen by widespread voter fraud.
Trump remains the Republican Party’s most influential voice, although recent polls have shown a growing number of Republican voters supporting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as a potential 2024 nominee.
A federal law called the US Presidential Records Act requires the retention of memos, letters, notes, emails, faxes, and other written communications related to a president’s official duties.
Any search of a private residence should be approved by a judge, after the investigating law enforcement agency has demonstrated that a search is warranted.
He would almost certainly also be endorsed by FBI Director Christopher Wray, a Trump appointee, and his boss, Attorney General Merrick Garland, who was appointed by Biden. A White House official said Biden was not given advance notice of the research and referred questions to the Justice Department.
Trump was not present at the time of the search because he was in New York on Monday, Fox News Digital reported, posting a photo of Trump that a Fox reporter said showed him leaving Trump Tower. Trump, who has lived at his Palm Beach club since leaving office, has typically spent summers at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, as Mar-a-Lago typically closes for the summer.
FBI searches Trump’s Florida home as part of presidential records investigationRead Full Article
Reporting by Brian Ellsworth in Palm Beach, Fla., and Sarah N. Lynch in Washington, additional reporting by Eric Beech and Steve Holland; Editing by Will Dunham and Scott Malone